Sunday, July 25, 2004

Assessing the gravity

Assessing the gravity of the situation, at Manayunk Brewing Company, October 1996.

Gravity refers to the amount of fermentable sugars present in the wort (the solution extracted from the malted barley) before yeast is added - and during and after fermentation. In this case, with all that foam present, it appears that I'm assessing the gravity during fermentation.

The photograph was taken when I was the original brewer for the Manayunk Brewing Company, a Philadelphia brewpub. I assisted with brewhouse design and construction (April - September 1996), and, once we opened (October 1996), I was responsible for recipes, brewing procedures, staff training and ... brewing.

I worked with the Chef Bill McConnell to create beer and food pairings printed in the menu. A local beer writer told us that ours were the first he had ever seen.

After Bill moved on, new head chef Ed Fialkowski expanded our beer cuisine program. He added spent grains from the mash to the pizza dough for tang and texture. The Schuylkill Punch, our Raspberry Wheat Ale, he used as the base for the house vinaigrette. He reduced wort (unfermented beer) for his demi-glace.

Farewell Legends; ahoy, Clipper City!

a job change

On August 1, 2004 I leave the employ of Legends, Limited.

Owners Patrick and Sherri Casey have assembled a broad (and growing) catalog of beer (and wine and spirits). In the last 10 years, the duo has done much to promote a 'good beer' culture in Maryland and nationwide. Since August 2001, I have been honored to have had a role in that campaign. I remain a loyal admirer.

I have accepted an opportunity to work with Hugh Sisson, a pioneer of Maryland craft beer, as a representative of his Clipper City Brewing Company .

I have great respect for what Sisson, lead brewer Scott Dietrich, and the entire team of the Clipper City Brewing Company have accomplished.
Specifically ...
1. There's the quality control evident throughout the portfolio.
2. There's the design of the brand extensions -- Clipper City, McHenry, Oxford Raspberry.
3. Finally, there's the introduction of the flavor-driven Heavy Seas line.

Together, these things became a coalescence irresistible to me.

As Territory Manager for Clipper City Brewing Company, my job will be to continue to expand the reach of its brands throughout the District, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia.

Caveat blogger:
My previous blogs in praise of Clipper City's Heavy Seas beers predate my employment with the company. I must state, to be candid, that it was while under the influence of the Red Sky at Night that I made initial contact.